Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

A poet,

grant sherbet and coffee, opium and divorces. | illusions of hope and in the transports of ambition, Remember ..

thou sometimes givest credence to thine own Hark! the bell rings ! Put on thy slippers, devices. come along with me. Curtsey to the Virgin, Mahomet. Be thou my judge in this matter. dip thy finger in the font, and chaunt the litany. Under an oath to secrecy, I have unfolded to Labid

Mahomet. I never sang a note in my whole life. the poet, son of Rabiah, what I intend for the

Sergius. What matters that? Courage ! strike first chapter of my Koran : and he cried before up among us.

me, and is ready to cry before the people, “0) Mahomet. I hate singing: it is fit only for mad- Mahomet ! son of Abdallah, son of Achem, son of men and drunkards and the weakest and pettiest Motalib, thou art a greater poet than I am." of the birds. Beside, I tell thee again, I can not. Sergius. Begone upon thy mission this instant ! Are there not reasons enough?

Miracles like others have been performed erery. Sergius. By no means. Didst thou not say, faith where; like this, never upon earth. is so strong in thee, thou canst do all things? good or bad, to acknowledge a superior! Methinks Mahomet. Yes, but I must have the will first : I see the pope already in adoration at thy feet

, even God must will before he does anything: I and hear the patriarchs calling thee father. I i am only his Prophet. Why dost thou laugh? why myself am half a convert. Hie thee homeward: dost thou display thy teeth, lifting and lowering God speed thee ! them like unto the dog that biteth off his fleas?

The story of Sergius the Nestorian monk assisting No ridicule! I deserve it not. My potency is Mahomet in the compilation of the Koran, is often repeated known to thee, although not in its whole extent. on the authority of Zonaras : Gibbon has deemed it usKnow then, I have cut the moon asunder with my worthy of notice. Sergius was only the assistant of Mascimetar.

homet in the same manner as the rest of the churche,

The impostor of Rome was the truest ally to the impostor Sergius. Who, in the name of the Prophet (this of Mecca ; who found more wickedness committed under I think is the way we are to speak), will ever the garb of christianity, more ambition, more malice, more believe such an audacious lie?

poisonings and stabbings, than any other religion had Mahomet. Universally will the chosen of the experienced among its leaders, not only in the same period Most High believe it, although the grunters and of time, but in the whole course of its existence sa

within two centuries, reckoning from his first appearance snorers in thy sty eschew it. I have in readiness as a prophet, half the Christians in the world, and nearly a miracle so much greater, that every face in all who were not coerced by the armies of princes in sob Arabia will sink as deep in the sand before it, as mission to the pope, abandoned their religion and adopted the tortoise when she is laying her eggs.

Mahomet's. It is much to be doubted whether the chance Sergius. I do not understand thee.

will in the end be beneficial, though perhaps the pube

mind may never be better prepared for it than at presbt. Mahomet. It is something to cut asunder the If indeed, as many suspect, it is the resolution of the moon : but I have already done incalculably more, Holy Alliance to exchange the Christian religion for the as thou thyself, O Sergius, shalt acknowledge.

Mahometan, such resolution must be founded on the Sergius. Speak, and plainly; for, upon my soul : positive fact that, while the former leaves no sign sbat

ever of its existence on people in general, the latter goes I know not when thou art in earnest and when at least skin-deep in all. still the affair, being a weighty otherwise ; and almost do I suspect that, the one, should be reconsidered.

[ocr errors]

KING OF THE SANDWICH ISLES, MR. PEEL, MR. CROKER,

AND INTERPRETER. King. I receive with satisfaction the royal sons Croker. He stares at me like a stuck pig. of my brother the king of England, whose noble King to Interpreter. I can not, with my ideas of nature and high exploits have filled the whole propriety, fall down before him, but anything space between him and me, and are become short of that. Would he permit me to take his familiar to my people as fish and bread-fruit. hand ?

Peel. Sire, we dispose indeed of his family and Interpreter. I can not answer for him. Time of his subjects universally ; but we are not the was, he would have been ready to take mine .. sons of our most gracious king.

with a dollar in it. Croker. Blood and ’ounds! Why tell the fool King. The other high lord governs the king's that we are not his sons ?

family and people; but this governs the king and King. You are then the high priest ?

the air and the waters and the world. Dog, dust Peel. Not exactly that neither, Sire; but I grin? make him do and say what I order. I dictate the Interpreter. I will tell your majesty another forms of prayer and appoint the chief priests. time how mistaken you are.

King to Croker. And pray, mighty lord, by what King. No other times for me : tell me now. appellation am I to address your celestiality? I must know, as other kings do, the men I deal

Croker. I am principal of the admiralty. with.
King to Interpreter. What is admiralty ?

Interpreter. Ah sire ! your former mistake was Interpreter. The ships and captains and admirals. nothing to this. As other kings do! One must Peel. His majesty seems faint.

cross the widest of the seas to find them : they

are

lie among coral, and clothe in feathers, or are of their recovery, and they mounted the palacein buff.

stairs as briskly as if nothing had happened. King. High and mighty, land-and-sea-and-sky Peel. I will send a tailor to your Majesty, with lords ! in order to render the honours due to your your Majesty's royal permission. rank and dignity, I, a stranger to you

King to Interpreter. What is that? Peel. Sire, we are come only to announce to Interpreter. One who makes court-dresses. your majesty the pleasure his majesty the king King to Interpreter. In truth no king was ever of England will experience on receiving your received with more hospitality, kindness, and majesty at his court.

distinction, than I am. All the first dignitaries King to Interpreter. Is it the custom of the land of the state attend me. The court-tailor holds, I to interrupt a person who is speaking ?

suppose, the third rank in the kingdom. Interpreter. It is the custom all over Europe, Interpreter. There are some between, not many. excepting Turkey, where manners more He however is next to the king himself, or rather decorous.

his copartner, in conferring distinctions. Without King to Interpreter. How do they do in their him the greatest and highest man in England parliament?

would be nothing. Silk gowns swell little men Interpreter. The same thing perpetually, unless into great ones, and silk ribbons clevate the the orator has something to give them. In that lightest up to the most conspicuous station. case there is no other interruption than applause. K’ing to Interpreter. Perhaps the silk is a-charm

King. Tell your king, O king's-family-and-peo- too against anger and thunder. ple-feeder, that I forerun his wishes, and will be Croker. What a bore! I am out of all patience. present at his court to-morrow.

Pee. I regret that your Majesty should expePed. Dear Croker, do inform him, for upon my rience anything like delay or disappointment; soul I have not the face, that he must pull off that but the etiquette of our court, requires a strict odd dress of his, and order a court one.

compliance with custom, in matters of dress. Croker. What have I to do with plucking and King. Pray, how many dresses has your king ? trussing the creature? Tell himn yourself; it lies Croker. Don't answer the rascal. These barbawithin your office.

rians are always inquisitive. Ped. Sire! I am sorry to announce

Peel. Sire, I can not exactly tell your Majesty King. He says he is sorry: I understand all how many his Majesty possesses, not having the that. Try to comfort him. Bring out a skinful honour to preside over his wardrobe; but of of delicate whale-oil : or, in the urgency, persuade course on gala-days he always wears a new one. him to smell this little slip of salt ling, which King. Gala-days I suppose are the days when always carry about me.

he wrestles and tears his clothes. For in this Interpreter. Put it up, put it up: do not let cold climate I can well imagine the richer may them see it. The word 'sorry' means in general wrestle dressed. But your king must have many quite the contrary: when it does not, it means suits. I am sensible of his affability and liberality, nothing at all. Among the last letters I received and shall be quite contented with such distincis one beginning “I am sorry to inform you that tion as it may please his Majesty to confer on your father is dead, but am extremely happy to me; but among men of equal rank, unequal as add that he has left to you the whole of his little is the power, treaties may be formed, compacts property, your elder brother having been unex. settled . pectedly taken off after twelve days' severe suffer- Croker. A slice of Sandwich, I trust, may come ing from his unfortunate duel.”

to us thereby ; ay, Bob ! King. You have taught me a great deal of King to Interpreter. The great whale, the adEnglish in a little time.

miral-feeder, the navy-flint, is prouder and fiercer Well, king's-feeder and high-priest-maker! what than the wizard-feeder and prayer-pointer, disposer dolorous event impedes your enunciation ? of the king's family and subjects while dry-shod

To the Interpreter. Surely nobody has told him and upon the dirt. The latter is the civiler, but that his father is dead; for he really looks quite if features tell me anything, cold, smooth, slipconcerned.

pery, and hard to hold as a porpoise. Peel. Sire, I am sorry to announce to your Interpreter. The one looks as if he would pick majesty that your majesty can not be received in a quarrel, and the other as if he would pick a any but a court-dress.

but your Majesty does not wear them. King. Oh! I know it, I know it well : I have King. Pick-a ! pick-a ! pick-a! What dost brought with me fifty court-dresses.

mean, word-eater-and-voider? Ped. Permit me to explain, sire: I mean to Interpreter. Your Majesty's fine language does say, the court-dress of the court of Saint James. not supply me with the word, and if I made an

King. I have not one. Apparently Saint James adequate sign of it I might be hanged. requires as much buckling as a coach-horse; and King. My language is the richest in the world, one would fancy his votaries have broken knees. and the very best. I have two or three words for, I saw several well-looking men bound in that joint; one thing. and doubtless by the ablest surgeon. They were Interpreter. Sire, we have twenty. Roguery going to thank the Saint for the commencement for instance. We box the compass and come quite

come.

[ocr errors]

round to honesty and honour; but some writers and between their cheeks, such a quantity of (not many indeed) make a distinction, and put an flame and heat. 8 to the latter.

Peel. Was that for us? King. We kings are very nice upon higher Interpreter. No, sir. points, but not upon these. There are in my Peel. If your Sandwichian Majesty is graciislands some men who understand all sorts of ously disposed to enter into any treaty with his words, native or imported : I take them as they Britannic Majesty, my royal master, I am em

If people are good, let them be easy in powered by his aforesaid, to wit, his Britannic speech and free in action : let every one roast his Majesty, to receive, consider, and lay it before fish as he likes, and catch it as he can.

his said Majesty, for his Majesty's further conCroker. Your Majesty was saying something of sideration, by and with the advice of his priry treaties and compacts. If I can serve your Majesty Council. in the interpretation of your royal wishes, you King. The very thing for his privy Council may command me.

His Majesty sticks a new and brighter and loftier King. I have an interpreter here I can trust plume in my hair at every word of your discourse better.

with me.

On the court-day, in presence of all his Croker to Interpreter. He never said that, sirrah. nobility, male and female, I would decorate his He has good manners.

Majesty with a noble dress, suitable to his dignits, Interpreter. Then, Mr. Croker, do not omit such with my own hands, declaring upon my royal an opportunity of acquiring them. Do not wait word that I have worn the same dress twenty for Lieutenant White to propose to you again an times on the greatest ceremonies of religion and excursion through the window, for telling him to state, and that I slept in the lower part of it the “moderate his impertinent vulgar Irish,” when night of my nuptials. Now I request from his the gentleman had spoken most respectfully, Majesty, I being a less powerful king, a dress under a sense of injury, and when in his father's which his Majesty shall have worn only twice or house yours would not have had the assurance to thrice on public festivities, and once only in dalbe seated.

liance with some favourite ; and that his ronal Croker. Sir, I remember no such occurrence. hands shall invest me with nothing more of it,

Interpreter. Wonderful indeed! Such occur than that part which the most active man in the rences are the only ones that usually make a world could not leap into by himself, and which deep impression on such people. The lieute no other nations than the most civilized and inge nant held up a fist, not made to crack a Croker, nious have discovered the means of putting on : or anything of the kind, but able to split a this being the principal, if not the only distinction cocoa-nut on a pincushion. Not remember it between the polished and the rude. After the indeed!

surmounting of such a difficulty in science, I do Croker. Peel, have you no prison, no treadmill, not wonder that you can count the stars, and for such fellows? We are here upon the king's measure their sizes and distances, which I think I service.

could do myself, if I had leisure and they would Ped. In England, though.

wait for me. King. I request of that minister's celestiality Croker. Does the beast quiz us? He looks in that he will not light his match where there is no earnest. gun. What faces these Europeans have ! they Peel. He really is serious, and expects an can fire them when they please. The Great Spirit answer. has in his wisdom appointed all things for the Sire, I will communicate to his Majesty the countries in which they exist. What a blessing heads of your Majesty's communication, and I in these cold climates, where water is turned into entertain no doubt that his Majesty will most dust and rock, and the feathers that fall from graciously pay that attention which is due to heaven's birds and winged genii are colder than ancient and faithful an ally, and which is consersea-shells, that the higher and nobler part at least vative of the harmony that happily exists between of the inhabitants can conjure up into their eyes, the two nations.

WILLIAM WALLACE AND KING EDWARD I.

Eduard. Whom seest thou here?

Edward. Robber! for what sceptre! Who comWallace. The king of England.

missioned thee? Edward. And thou abasest not thy head before Wallace My country. the majesty of the sceptre !

Edward. Thou liest : there is no country where Wallace. I did.

there is no king. Edward. I marked it not.

Wallace. Sir, it were unbecoming to ask in Wallace. God beheld it when I did it; and he this palace, why there is no king in my country, knoweth, as doth king Edward, how devoutly in Edward. To spare thy modesty then, I will my heart's strength I fought for it.

inform thee. Because the kingdom is mine.

Thon hast rebelled against me: thou hast pre- / would flay him alive for half of them, and make sumed even to carry arms against both of those him swallow back the other half without his nobles, Bruce and Cummin, who contended for skin. the Scottish throne, and with somewhat indeed of Wallace. Few have a right to punish, all to lawyers' likelihood.

pardon. Wallace. They placed the Scottish throne under Educard. I perceive thou hast at last some the English.

glimmering of shame; and adversity makes thee Eduard. Audacious churl ! is it not meet ? Christian-like. Wallace. In Scotland we think otherwise. Wallace. Adversity then, in exercising her

Edward. Rebels do, subverters of order, low power, loses her name and features. King Edignorant knaves, without any stake in the coun- ward ! thou hast raised me among men. Without try. It hath pleased God to bless my arms : what thy banners and bows in array against me, I further manifestation of our just claims demandest had sunk into utter forgetfulness. Thanks to thee thou? Silence becomes thee.

for placing me, eternally, where no strength of Wallace. Where God is named. What is now mine could otherwise have borne me! Thanks to to the right bank of a river, is to the left when we thee for bathing my spirit in deep thoughts, in have crossed it and look round.

refreshing calm, in sacred stillness! This, o Edward. Thou wouldst be witty truly! Who king, is the bath for knighthood : after this it was wittiest, thou or I, when thy companion Men- may feast, and hear bold and sweet voices, and teith delivered thee into my hands ?

mount to its reposc. Wallace. Unworthy companions are not the I thought it hard to be seized and bound and pecnliar curse of private men. I chose not Men- betrayed, by those in whom I trusted. I grieved teith for his treachery, nor rewarded him for it. that a valiant soldier (such is Menteith) should Sir, I have contended with you face to face ; but act so. Unhappy! he must now avoid all men's would not here : your glory eclipses mine, if this discourses. "Twill pierce his heart to hear cenbe glory.

sures on the disloyal ; and praises on the loyal will Eduard. So, thou wouldst place thyself on a dry up its innermost drop. Two friends can never level with princes !

more embrace in his presence, but he shall curse Wallace. Willingly, if they attacked my coun- them in the bitterness of his soul, and his sword try; and above them.

shall spring up to cleave them. “ Alas !" will he Edward. Dost thou remember the Carron-side, say to himself, “is it thus ! was it thus when I when your army was beaten and dispersed ? drew it for my country !”

Wallace. By the defection of Cummin and the Edward. Think now of other matters : think, arrogance of Stuart.

what I suggested, of thy reproaches. Edward. Recollectest thou the colloquy that Wallace. I have none to make myself. Bruce condescended to hold with thee across the Eduard. Be it so: I did not talk about that river ?

any longer. Wallace. I do, sir. Why would not he, being Wallace. What others then can touch or reach your soldier, and fighting loyally against his me? native land, pass the water, and exterminate an Eduard. Such as Bruce's. army so beaten and dispersed? The saddle-skirts Wallace. Reproaches they were not : for none had been rather the stiffer on the morrow, but he were ever cast against me: but taunts they were, might have never felt them. Why not finish the not unmingled with invitations. business at once ?

Edward. The same invitations, and much Edward. He wished to persuade thee, loose greater, I now repeat. Thou shalt govern Scotreviler, that thy resistance was useless.

land for me. Wallace. He might have made himself heard Wallace. Scotland, sir, shall be governed for better if he had come across.

none : she is old enough to stand by herself, and Edward. No trifling; no arguing with me; no to stand upright: the blows she hath received have remarks here, caitiff! Thou canst not any longer not broken her loins. be ignorant that he hath slain his competitor, Edward. Come, come, Wallace! thou hast sense Cummin ; that my troops surround him; and that and spirit : confess to me fairly that, if thou wert he perhaps may now repent the levity of his at liberty, thou wouldst gladly make Bruce regret reproaches against thee. I may myself have said his ill-treatment of thee. a hasty word or two . . but thou hast nettled me. Wallace. Well then, I do confess it. My anger soon passes. I never punish in an Edward. Something would I myself hazard; not enemy anything else than obstinacy. I did not too much ; but prudently and handsomely. Tell counsel the accusations and malignant taunts of me now plainly, for I love plain-speaking and Bruce.

everything free and open, in what manner thou Wallace. Sir, I do not bear them in mind. wouldst set about it; and perhaps, God willing, I Eduard. No?

may provide the means. Wallace. Indeed I neither do nor would.

Wallace. Sir, you certainly would not : it little Edward. Dull wretch! I should never forget suits your temper and disposition. such. I ca make allowances; I am a king. Edward. Faith! not so little as thou supposest.

[ocr errors]

Magnanimity and long-suffering have grown upon shiver under the pent-house from which the wind me, and well become me; but they have not pro- had blown the thatch, while the blazing fire duced all the good I might have expected from within made the snow upon the opposite roof them. Joyfully as I would try them again, at redden like the dawn ; to wax faint, ahungered any proper opportunity, there is nothing I am and athirst, when, within arm's length of me, not bound to do, in dearness to my people, to rid men pushed the full cup away, and would drink myself of an enemy.

no more; to that I had never been accustomed in In my mind, no expressions could be more in my country. The dogs, honester and kinder sulting than Bruce's, when he accused thee, a low folks than most, but rather dull in the love of and vulgar man (how canst thou help that ?), of hospitality, unless in the beginning some pains wishing to possess the crown.

are taken with them by their masters, tore my Wallace. He was right.

scant gear; and then your soldiers felt their conEduard. How! astonishment! Thou wouldst tempt more natural and easy. The poor curs had then have usurped the sovranty !

done for them what their betters could not do; Wallace. I possessed a greater power by war and the bolder of the company looked hard in than peace could ever give me; yet I invited and my face, to see if I were really the same man. exhorted the legitimate heir of the throne to fight Eduard. O the rude rogues ! that was too bad. for it and receive it. If there is any satisfaction Wallace. The worst was this. Children and or gratification in being the envy of men, I had women, fathers and sons, came running down the enough and greatly more than enough of it, when hills, some sinking knee-deep in the incrusted even those I love envied me : what would have snow, others tripping lightly over it, to celebrate been my portion of it, had I possessed that which the nativity of our blessed Lord. They intreated, never should have been mine!

and the good priest likewise, that I might be led Edward. Why then sayest thou that Bruce was forth into the church, and might kneel down right?

amid them. “Off” cried the guard; “would ye Wallace. He judged, as most men do, from his plead for Wallace the traitor ?" I saw them tremown feelings. Many have worn crowns; some have ble, for it was treason in them, and then came my deserved them : I have done neither.

grief upon me, and bore hard. They lifted up Edvard. Return to Scotland ; bring me Bruce's their eyes to heaven; and it gave me strength. head back; and rule the kingdom as viceroy. Edward. Thou shalt not, I swear to thee, march

Wallace. I would rather make him rue his back in such plight. words against me, and hear him.

Wallace. I will not, I swear to thee, march a Eduard. Thou shalt.

traitor. Wallace. Believe me, sir, you would repent of Edward. Right! right! I can trust thee .. your permission.

more than half already. Bruce is the traitor; Edward. No, by the saints !

the worst of the two; he raises the country against Wallace. You would indeed, sir.

me. Go; encompass him, entrap him, quell Edvard. Go, and try me: do not hesitate: I see him. thou art half inclined : I may never make the same Sweetheart ! thou hast a rare fancy, a youth's offer again.

love at first sight, for thy chains: unwilling to Wallace. I will not go.

barter them for liberty, for country, for revenge, Eduurd. Weak wavering man ! hath imprison for honour. ment in one day or two wrought such a change Wallace. Honour and revenge, such as I have in thee?

carried in my bosom, are very dear to me! For Wallace. Slavery soon does it, but I am, and liberty and country I have often shed my blood, will ever be, unchanged.

and, if more is wanting, take it.

My heart is no Educard. It was not well, nor by my order, that better than a wooden cup, whereof the homels thou wert dragged along the road, barefooted liquor a royal hand would cast away indifferentlr. and bareheaded, while it snowed throughout all There once were those who pledged it! where are the journey.

they? Forgive my repining, O God ! Enough, Wallace. Certainly, sir, you did not order it to if they are not here. snow from the latter days of December till the Edvard. Nay, nay, Wallace! thon wrongest middle of January ; but whatever else was done, me. Thou art a brave man. I do not like to see if my guard spake the truth ...

those irons about thy wrists : they are too broad Edward. He lied, he lied, he lied ..

and tight: they have bruised thee cruelly. Wallace. ... or the warrant he showed me is Wallace. Methinks there was no necessity to authentic, was done according to your royal order. have hammered the rivets on quite so hard : and

Eduard. What! are my officers turned into the fellow who did it, needed not to look over his constables ! base varlets ! It must have seemed shoulder so often while he was about it, telling hard, Wallace !

the people, “ This is Wallace." Wrist or iron be Wallace. Not that indeed; for I went bare- and his hammer cared not. footed in my youth, and have mostly been bare- Edward. I am mightily taken with the faner of headed when I have not been in battle. But to seeing thee mortify Bruce. Thou shalt do it : let be thrust and shoven into the court-yard ; to me have thy plan.

« AnteriorContinuar »